MGM Resorts Partners With Nevada for Education Program, Tries to Move on from Summer PR Nightmare

Posted on: August 24, 2018, 05:33h. 

Last updated on: August 24, 2018, 05:33h.

MGM Resorts is getting a much needed dose of good publicity by joining with the Nevada System of Higher Education to offer free credit hours for professional development and college education courses to its employees.

Employees of MGM Resorts will have the chance to pursue professional and college education courses at any of Nevada’s seven colleges starting in Fall 2019 through a partnership with the Nevada System of Higher Education. (Photo: MGM Resorts)

Employees will have the opportunity to take part in the program at any of the following schools: the University of Nevada Las Vegas, University of Nevada Reno, Nevada State College, College of Southern Nevada, Western Nevada College, Great Basin College, and Truckee Meadows Community College.

MGM is Nevada’s largest employer. Jim Murren, chairman and CEO, said the company is “focused on reducing the financial burden on our employees,” and that offering higher education is a “pathway to the middle class.”

Regents Approval

The partnership between MGM and NSHE will be approved by the Board of Regents during a September 7 meeting. Employees will be eligible to take part starting in the Fall of 2019.

The agenda item for the meeting states:

“This partnership supports our goals of access and success. More MGM employees will be attending our institutions that would not have attended otherwise. Students will have to be admitted into a degree program in order to qualify for the program which will ensure student success.”

Good PR for a Change

The partnership will not only help employees receive an education they otherwise may not have been able to access: it’s also a much-needed gesture of goodwill from a company that’s taken a largely self-imposed PR beating in recent months.

In July, the company filed a lawsuit attempting to block victims of the Oct. 1 Mandalay Bay shooting from suing MGM for liability. The lawsuit claims that the company had no way to foresee, or prevent, the attack that killed 58 people and injured hundreds more.

One week before MGM filed the lawsuit, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that in 2014, Kye Aaron Dunbar was caught with six weapons — including a rifle with a scope pointing towards the Las Vegas Strip — in his room on the 24th floor of Mandalay Bay, the same hotel from which Stephen Paddock opened fire on Oct. 1. Dunbar was sentenced to 40 months in prison in January 2016.

The lawsuit filed by MGM caused uproar on social media, with some people calling for a boycott of the company. In turn, Murren issued an apology saying MGM didn’t do a good job of explaining their intention with the lawsuit.

“Many of you were left to read media reports which were misleading and truly awful. To be perfectly clear: MGM Resorts is not suing victims for damages or attempting to extract payment from the victims in any way,” Murren said.

However, the lawsuit seeks to prevent victims from seeking compensation for damages from the company.